To those who ask him the reason for his recent assiduous frequentations with Italy, the CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary he answers seriously: “It is the same question that my wife asks me and I had to confess that I have two lovers, one a Roma and one a Milano and that they too need attention. After all, after 18 months of confinement at home with a wife and 4 children, I could not wait to return (and often) to the Country I love, where you eat and drink divinely ”.
Gone are the times of excesses and of provocations to which we had become accustomed, but the manager does not give up joke ready to snatch a smile from the audience of journalists called for the presentation of thewinter timetable at Malpensa and Milan Bergamo airports. After the morning stop in Rome, O’Leary arrived at the Sheraton Diana Majestic of Milan to tell how and why this will be the winter of the turning point and how and why Italy will act as a bridgehead in this run-up to normality.
Un country manager
“We are looking for a country manager for the Peninsula – the ceo confirmed to TTG – because the time had now come to have a person in the area, which today is the second largest market for us and where we want to continue growing. And the answer was impressive: they arrived 3mila candidacy for one place only “. As for the timeframe for the new managerial figure to enter service, O’Leary estimates that by the end of October it should be operational.
On a programmatic level, the schedule for winter provides a total of 550 routes, of which 100 at home. 125 of these will be the prerogative of Malpensa and Bergamo, where 8 and 20 aircraft will be positioned respectively, “many of which will be the new B737 in the delivery phase,” he adds. And then the new bases in Turin and Treviso, which will bring the total in Italy to 16.
The role in Italy
But beyond the operation, in Ryanair’s strategy there is a change of gear on another front, a request to have a more central role also in the choices and in the approach at national level. It is no coincidence that a meeting with ministers Garavaglia and Giorgetti to illustrate their requests to be able to relaunch the sector and move the tourism machine (one above all the elimination of the municipal surcharge) which was followed by a summit with ENAC president Pierluigi Di Palma, to which an explicit request was made to activate meetings in which not only Italian companies but all those operating on the national territory can participate, in order to find common strategies and move the market.
“We believe we can be decisive for the revival of tourism – then concluded the CEO of low cost -; according to our forecasts next summer the movements will still be concentrated on the short range and in this sense Italy has a great opportunity to exploit. We can be of support with the increase in capacity and routes ”.